I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me...
Who are you?
- The Who
Twenty-one years ago I walked into a dance club in southern Germany and met a young medical student named Daniela Nespital. - This next part is true. - The first moment I looked at her, even before we spoke, I wondered how our lives would unfold if we lived a lifetime together.
Seven months later we put our bikes on a train and traveled to Paris. I was a soldier, she was a student, we were in France. There was something about that girl, so I asked her to marry me.
Our life together continues to unfold ...
Thank you for saying yes that night in Paris. Thank you for writing to me when I was in Iraq, and for being there when I returned. Thank you for the times we cook together, travel together, talk about history, and share stories together. Thank you for being my lover. Most of all, thank you for our two boys. You are a good and loving mother.
Forgive me for the times I hurt you. There have been smiles, but there have been tears, too. Forgive me for not always listening to you. Forgive me for not sharing everything with you and for shutting you out of areas of my life. My heart aches to think of the times I made you cry.
I forgive you for the times you hurt me. You are human. Your intention was not to hurt me. Sometimes the world gets into our headspace and we make mistakes. I forgive you.
Dani, above all, I love you. Since the moment we met there has not been a day that I have not thought about you. You are fascinating, and sometimes mysterious to me. I desire to be close to you. I am here for you, and I offer you my strength.
You are firmly entrenched in my heartspace. If you could look inside my heart you would see the rose garden in Bamberg. And, standing in the middle would be you.
...Father, thank You for the gift of Daniela. Bless our marriage. Bring us closer to You. We cry out in Jesus name...